This soup is quite a bit more spicy and colorful than the European type.
- 2 Tablespoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons turmeric
- ½ teaspoon ground black pepper
- Pinch of saffron (about 18 threads) (optional)
- 3- to 4-lbs. chicken, cut up
- About 9 cups boiling water
- 2 medium (about 4 oz. each) onions, halved
- 2 medium (about 3 oz. each) carrots, sliced
- 2 medium tomatoes
- Combine the cumin, turmeric, pepper, if desired, saffron, and salt.
- Toss the chicken pieces with the spice mixture.
- Place in a stockpot or large heatproof casserole over low heat and cook, turning the chicken occasionally, until seared and browned (about 8 minutes).
- Remove the chicken (this prevents the water from washing the spices from the chicken).
- Add the water.
- Return the chicken and add the onions, carrots, and tomatoes.
- Bring to a boil, cover, reduce the heat to low, and simmer, occasionally skimming off the foam, until the chicken is very tender (at least 2 hours).
The chicken can be removed from bones and returned to soup or served separately. Adjust the seasoning, adding more salt as needed.